Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Hernia. 2014 Apr;18(2):289-95. doi: 10.1007/s10029-013-1177-5. Epub 2013 Nov 15.

An estimation of inguinal hernia epidemiology adjusted for population age structure in Tanzania.

Author information

Department of Surgery, University of California San Francisco, 513 Parnassus Avenue S-321, San Francisco, CA, 94143, USA,



Surgical conditions represent a significant source of global disease burden. Little is known about the epidemiology of inguinal hernia in resource-poor settings. We present a method to estimate inguinal hernia disease burden in Tanzania.


Using data from the United States National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) prospective cohort study and Tanzanian demographic figures, we calculated inguinal hernia incidence and prevalence in Tanzanian adults under three surgical rate scenarios. Gender-specific incidence figures from NHANES data were adjusted according to Tanzanian population age structure. Hernia duration was adjusted for Tanzanian life expectancy within each age group.


The prevalence of inguinal hernia in Tanzanian adults is 5.36% while an estimated 12.09% of men had hernias. Today, 683,904 adults suffer from symptomatic inguinal hernia in Tanzania. The annual incidence of symptomatic hernias in Tanzanian adults is 163 per 100,000 population. At Tanzania's current hernia repair rate, a backlog of 995,874 hernias in need of repair will develop over 10 years. 4.4 million disability-adjusted life-years would be averted with repair of prevalent symptomatic hernias in Tanzania.


Our data indicate the extent of inguinal hernia disease burden in Tanzania. By adjusting our figures for the age structure of Tanzania, we have demonstrated that while the incidence of symptomatic cases may be lower than previously thought, prevalence of inguinal hernia in Tanzania remains high. This approach provides an update to our previously described methodology for calculation of inguinal hernia epidemiology in resource-poor settings that may be used in multiple country contexts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Springer
    Loading ...
    Support Center